Thursday, June 28, 2012

Write That Down

I know I've mentioned this before.  More than a few times.  But I'll say it again.  I'm a list maker.  I love my lists.  They keep me organized.  I make To-Do lists, lists of books I want to read - and those I've already read (thank you Goodreads!) , I keep lists of what I need to get at the store, what I am making for dinner each week (thank you cozi.com!)  I even suppose my calendars could be considered a list of all the dates and happenings I don't want to forget about.  (and now it looks like I have a sort of list of all the lists I have!)

My problem is the things that don't make it on to a list.  If it's not written down, I tend to forget it.  (I'm pretty sure that's a very bad sign of something - but I don't want to think about that too hard Or I might start a list of all the things I imagine are wrong with me.)  This happens a lot when I think of something to blog about, or when I hear about a book I want to add to the TBR list, or when I hear a song I'd like to add to my iPod.  Of course I never have my actual list with me when this happens.  And by the time I have access to my list I have forgotten what I wanted to add to it!

I think what I might need is to start carrying around a teeny tiny little notepad and pen around on my person at all times.  Maybe on a ribbon around my neck!  That way when something comes up which I want to remember I can just make a note of it right then and there.   Then I can keep a list of all the things I want to add to other lists. 

Maybe this list thing is getting out of control.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Long Overdue

I'm pretty sure the local library hates me.  They probably cringe when they see me heading toward the checkout desk, or see that a book I requested if available for me to take home. 

This is because it is a rare occurrence that I get books returned to them by the actual due date.  Usually I'm at least a few days late getting them back.  It's not even a rare occurrence for the items to be a week or two overdue before I get around to returning them. 

I'm not proud of this.  It's just a fact. 

If I could limit myself in the number of books I allow myself to check out at one time - that might help.  Or if I remembered to keep track of the little receipt they give letting you know when each book is due.  Or if I took advantage of the email or text alerts they provide to remind you that the due date is approaching.  Heck... there's no real good reason why I should be so late all the time.

On second thought - maybe they don't hate me.  It's entirely possible that all my overdue fines have helped keep the library up and running for all these years.  I've certainly paid plenty of them.  I think there was one time I may have been able to buy the paperback copy of the book for less than I paid in late fees.  Probably more than once.  Come to think of it, at this point there should maybe be a new wing named after me!  (Or at the very least, a shelf!)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Raspberries and Paranoia

Picking raspberries in your yard becomes a whole new type of experience after you have seen a black bear sniffing around the canes.

I had the dog out in the yard, thinking he would alert me if any large furry visitors came calling.  Yes, the same do that sat silently in the living room while the rest of us ran about loudly commenting about the unusual diner in the front yard.  Even our obvious nervousness didn't get him at least curious.  Um.. yeh.. I don't think he's going to be much help here.

 Any tiny noise made me twitchy.  Jumpier than a cat on a hot tin roof.

At one point I was sure I heard a snorting, grunting sort of a noise. I jumped back about 6 feet from the raspberry canes, and made ready to sling my bucket of raspberries at the bear while screaming loudly and running for the house.


Wait.. you're not supposed to run when you encounter a bear, are you? Or maybe you are?


I found myself playing out the scenario.  What would I do if/when I came face to face with the bear?  I tried to think about what Bear Grylls or that Survivorman would do.  All I could remember was that you should always try to purify water before drinking it, and that if you fall through a frozen pond you are supposed to get naked and rub yourself with snow.  I don't think survivor dudes are gonna be much help either. 

Note to self: watch more Discovery channel - one never knows. 

Unfortunately that line of thinking also got me thinking about the Grizzly Man.  You know.. the guy who filmed his life living with wild bears.  Until they killed and ate him.  Thinking about him did not help my mental situation either.

Every rustle in the leaves had me convinced that Mr Bear was sneaking up on me, thinking that the bucket of berries I was carrying would make a nice dessert after his tasty meal of Me.  Although from my very limited exposure to bears, I don't believe it's likely that they sneak up on anything.  They don't seem to be a light footed sort of animal.  In fact, I would have to say the one I saw sort of lumbered about. 

Still... one can never be too careful.  Still thinking about the Grizzly Man.



Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sorry... Goldilocks Isn't Home Right Now

I'm minding my own business, walking through the living room when out of the corner of my eye I catch a glimpse through the window of something black.  "Hmm..", I think, "There is a strange dog in the yard".  I back up a step and take a second, longer look.  THAT is not a dog. 

THAT IS A BEAR! 


I stared in complete disbelief.  I took a deep breath and said loudly to the offspring "There is a bear in the front yard!!"  (OK, I may have yelled it) 



I grabbed the phone and sent a text to the Man of the House.  "There is a BEAR in the front yard!"  And then I sent a few more texts to anyone I could think of.  I was a little keyed up over this whole bear thing.



I grabbed the camera and starting taking pictures.  Through the window - I'm not that crazy!  I kept saying it: "There's a bear in our yard!"  "There... is a BEAR... in the front yard!!"
This was no small cub either.  This was a decent sized bear!  I'm pretty sure that if it were to stand up on it's back legs , it would be at least as tall as The Man of the House!


Apparently Mr Bear (Ms Bear?  I wasn't getting close enough to check... or ask) found the crab apples in our yard irresistible.  And he (she?) was welcome to as many of them as he (she?) wanted!  We watched him (her?) for a good 15 minutes, filing his (her?) belly. 



He (she?) would sit and eat a few apples, then get up and stroll around sniffing until he (she?) found a new spot with some yummy apple goodness, where he would sit back down for another course.


Eventually the bear got tired of apples.  He (she?) wandered around the side of the house, and sniffed at the raspberry canes.  I was OK with that, but once an interest was shown in the chicken house, it was time to make some noise and scare our bear friend off!   Sorry Bear!  Apples and berries are fair game, but my chickens are OFF LIMITS! 



 As the bear wandered away and disappeared into the wooded area next to our yard, I realized that he (she?) now that he or she knows there is food here.  I fully expect we will see him (or her) again.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Stick To The List

It was probably bound to happen sooner or later. 

The other night I went online to the North Carolina Digital Library to see what I could find to download onto the nook.  I had my trusty Endless TBR list pulled up on GoodReads and I was ready to go.  The frustrating thing about the digital library is trying to find something you want to read which is A) available on the NCDL and B) doesn't have a mile long wait list.

One of the books I found myself looking for was The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman.  Mile long wait list.  But as I searched her name, I saw a few other books that looked interesting.  I selected and downloaded The Third Angel.  Why not?

I'll tell you why not!  As I started reading the book that night, it kept nagging at me.  I felt like I knew this story.  It was very familiar.  Some parts more than others.  Something wasn't right here...

The next morning I pulled up GoodReads again and searched The Third Angel.  Sure enough!  Suspicion confirmed!!  I had read this book back in 2009!  Good grief!  Is this what it's come to?  I've read so many books in my life, I can't remember what I have read and what I haven't?  (sigh) 

This is why I need the TBR pile/list!  Just to keep track of what I want to read and not get confused.  To avoid reading the same books over and over. 

From now on - I'll stick to the list!

Hippity Hop




Photobucket
 
Every week Feeling Beachie gives us four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs. Want to be featured as a Co-Host to the hop?  Come up with four fill in’s of your own and email them to her at feelingbeachie@gmail.com. If she uses them, you get a nice little mention in that weeks hop! She seems pretty desperate eager for co-hosts right about now, (all this heat makes it hard to think straight, let alone be creative!) - so please help her out and email some statements!
 

 
This week’s co-host is Brenda from Fiction with a Purpose – she came up with the last two statements. 
 
And remember: as mom always said "it's nice to share".  So be sure to tweet, facebook, etc about the Follow Friday blog hop.  And add the little linky thing there at the bottom to your own blog if you participate!
 
This week’s statements:
1. I love a ___
2. If I could ____ anywhere I would ____
3. When I grow up, I want to ________
4. The best _________________ I ever ____________________


And now... the moment you've all been waiting for...
MY ANSWERS:
1. I love a good book and a good cup of coffee


2. If I could travel anywhere I would go to Hawaii


3. When I grow up, I want to win the lottery. (so I can travel anywhere)


4. The best friend I ever had was The Man of the House!











 

 

 
 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hitting the Small Time

Definition of SMALL-TIME:  insignificant in performance, scope, or standing. - Merriam-Webster.com

Recently I found myself pondering as to why some blogs are so small (I like the term personal), while others gain a much larger following. 

The ones that hit the "Big Time" get a column after column, and row after row full of tiny photos in the "Followers" section.  They get comment after comment, with reply after reply to those comments.  They get featured on other websites.  Some of them end up being interviewed on various talk and news programs.  Some even find themselves on the cover of Time magazine (ahem... yeh...quite enough has already been said on that, I think). 

What's the difference between all those blogs and this little cluster of thoughts I have going here?  After a bit of careful consideration - I think I've figured out two very possible reasons why I'll never make it big or get rich as a blogger.

First, I write like I talk.  What I think in my head, I type with my fingers.  It's sometimes not grammatically correct.  (OK, maybe it's often not grammatically correct)   I use incomplete sentences.  I use a lot of contractions.  I say and type word like "nothin'" and "y'all".  My former English teachers would probably be appalled at what is on the screen after I hit 'Publish".  

Second (and I think this is the Key), I'm not controversial enough. I don't write flaming posts filled with my personal opinions.  I don't write entire series of posts about politics, religion, or any of the other hot button topics of our day.  I don't write posts which incite or inspire people to comment.  Or share through other social media outlets.

I'm accepting that I am just a quiet, moderate, small time blogger.  I write about the things that happen to me and the things I know about my quiet, moderate life.  That's all I've got people.  And I'm much more than OK with that.
As I write this, I have the song "Big Time" by Peter Gabriel blasting away in my head. (The Man of the House will be so proud! LOL) :

"The place where I come from is a small town.
They think so small
They use small words
But not me
I'm smarter than that
I worked it out
I've been stretching my mouth
To let those big words come right out"

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

One of "Those Days"

Some days just take more effort than others. 

Days when the coffee pot just isn't big enough.
Days when your hormone meter is either raging on high or running almost on "E". 
Days when the energy just isn't there. 
Days when you can't seem to find the motivation to do just the most basic things that need to be done. 
Days when every single tiny thing frustrates you. 
Days when you can't seem to cut through the fog in your brain.
Days when even the most simple things seem to take soooo much effort.
Days when Murphy's Law is playing out to it's fullest extent.
Days when you feel like saying "Just forget it" and declaring it Nap Day all day long

Those days.  You know what I'm talking about, don't pretend like you don't.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Perfect Cup for Coffee

I think I need a bigger coffee cup.  Can you still hear me over the sound of my family laughing?  Yes?  Ok, good. 

Here's the thing... 

I'm willing to admit that the coffee cups I use on a regular basis are of decent size.  Some might even consider them more as small soup tureens rather than coffee cups.  I like a little weight to my mug. 

And yet, the darn things still seem to get empty far too quickly.  And if they aren't drained at a rapid speed, then the coffee gets cold. 

So what I really need is a nice large mug.  I'm thinking about the size of half the coffee pot.  I think that should do it.  That's about the amount I probably drink each morning anyway.

And I need one that keeps the coffee at a nice steady temperature - not hot enough to burn the mouth, but put sufficiently warm enough not to be well... bleh! 

You coffee drinkers know what I'm talking about, right?

LAST DAY!

Today is the LAST DAY  to sign up for the Queen B's Summer Give-Away @ This is My Day Job! 

http://my-day-job.blogspot.com/2012/06/queen-bs-busy-work-summer-giveaway.html

Don't forget to go comment on the post for your chance to win!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Staying A-Breast Of Things

I have been accused by a friend of being breast obsessed.  I believe her exact words were something along the lines of "you are all about the boob!".  I'd like to deny it.  I would like to roll my eyes and make some derogatory snorting sound, or utter the phrase "what-EVER".  Sadly... I can not. 

I would like to defend myself by pointing out that my interest in other people's boobs is purely professional!  I don't think you can spend 13 years as a breastfeeding counselor and lactation educator without being a little overly familiar with mammary glands you didn't grow yourself.  Those weren't just breasts - those were my job! 

And yes, I am all about breast health.  Do your self exams.  Get your mammograms.  That's just good medical advice which I promote and share with the people I care about.  Or anyone else willing to listen. 

But my obsession with breasts really probably started around the middle school years.  During that time, I think many of us are focused on our chests.  That previously flat expanse of rib area is changing.  Or not.  Either way, it's a cause for concern and interest.

If you are a female who has been through puberty - you probably know what I am talking about.  Are they growing?  If not, why aren't they growing?  If so, are they growing enough?  Too much?  Are they even?  How do they compare with the others we see growing around us?  In short... are we "normal"?  (it's all about being "normal" when you are a 13 year old girl) 

Of course, the ironic part of all this attention we are paying to our newly budding breasts is that we don't want anyone else noticing them.  Or even worse... mentioning them!  Oh, the horror... the horror!!

As I have grown older and gone through different life phases, the focus on the breasts is always there.  It just varies from one season of life to another. 

Once the breasts got past the puberty phase and stopped growing, I had to figure out what to do with them.  They were strictly ornamental at this point.  And at the peak of perkiness.  Choices had to be made.  To bra, or not to bra?  Where is the fine line between showing enough of them or too much of them?

When I was a nursing mom of babies the main focus switched to their functionality.  These were working breasts!  Half the time, they had a human offspring attached to them.  When they didn't there were still things to consider and keep tabs on.  Did they feel OK?  How full were they? Too full?  Not full enough?  Were they holding their own, or was there a leakage issue? 

And as I tried to patiently wait for the youngest to wean himself, they sometimes felt like the Brett Favre of breasts.  It was time to retire... no,not quite yet...  yep, now we're done... well, maybe we could make it another month or two... no, really, we're done now... or maybe not.  Until finally they were really ready to throw in the towel and call it a day.  For really real this time. 

Now,  I consider them classics.  And it's all about structure and upkeep.  Are they well supported, or is there any visible sag?  Are they comfortable?  (sadly, for too long the answer has been "not really")

So, yes.  I suppose I am all about the breast.  But c'mon.  They're right there in front of me all day. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers

I am fortunate to have some remarkable fathers in my life.  Both my own father, and the Man of the House (aka: father of my children). 

I don't think I could ever tell the Man of the House exactly how much I appreciate all he does for myself and our family. To provide for us. The way he always seems to put us first. He's kind and loving, but firm when he needs to be. He's good with things around the house - from yard work to fixing things to building things.  He's smart. Smarter than he knows, I think. I admire the way he can play with the kids, and be silly around with them. And the way he leads our family. I thank God everyday for chosing him to be my husband!

Growing up, I always knew my dad was a hardworker. He still is, even though he's retired.  (If retired means still working part time during the summers, and working tirelessly on his home and yard)   He always seemed like the quiet, provide for the family and keep the kids in line sort of guy growing up.  But I have learned to appreciate a whole different side of him as an adult.  He loves to tell stories.  And growing up a Navy kid, he has some great ones.  Who knew my dad was also a funny guy?  I love that about him.  He's a good grandpa.  (and now a great grandpa!)

Some women aren't fortunate to have even one great man in their life. How blessed am I to have two?



Quote of the Week

This has to be the best line of the entire week for me....

In reference to his aunt mentioning that his younger cousin likes her oranges cut into sections, the Little Man said:

"Oh, we get oranges that are pre-cut.  Inside.  I don't know how they do it!!"

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Queen B's Busy Work Summer Giveaway!!

The calendar says summer doesn't start for another week, but it certainly feels like it's already in full swing!  To celebrate  Queen B's Busy Work is giving away a pair of our Fun & Fluffy Flip Flops on my other blog!!

Read More...



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Long Night

My cat was vomiting.  Now, if you have cats you know that sometimes they vomit.  They eat too much, or too fast, or they decide to sample the dog food, or they spent time outside chewing on some nice fresh grass, or they get a hairball, or ... whatever.  It happens.  It's gross.  I grumble about cleaning it up.  But it's over and done.

This time it wasn't over and done. 

The vomiting very quickly escalated to panting, excessive drooling, loss of bladder control, loss of coordination which affected his ability to walk, and what can only be described as a convulsion of some sort.  He was bad off.  Very bad.

The Man of the House - always my own personal knight in shining armor - took over,  made a phone call to the emergency pet hospital, and hustled us into the car and off into the night to seek care for the poor feline. 

After an evaluation, some blood work, and 2 hours at the pet ER the knew he had likely been exposed to some sort of toxin, but were not able to determine what sort.  He was given activated charcoal, IV fluids, oxygen, and spent the night at the emergency vet

This morning I picked him up from the emergency vet and transferred him to his regular vet.  He was able to come off the oxygen at about 3am, but his breathing is still labored.  He has shown a little improvement, but is still in critical condition.

Right now, I wait for his Vet to call me with an update and recommendations.  And I worry.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Raging Waters

The other night while reading "The Zookeeper's Wife" by Diane Ackerman I came across a few paragraphs which described how how a rabbi in the Warsaw ghetto during the Nazi occupation would teach people to disconnect from their thoughts, as if watching a river flow by.

The mental image stuck with me; and I've spent some quiet moments reflecting on the mental image of rivers as thoughts and how they flow.

Negative thoughts, sadness, doubts, anger, despair - they are all like a flooded river, swirling past us. If we toss ourselves into the middle of any of them, we will be swept away and drown in them.

But if we keep ourselves securely on the shore, keep a sure footing, hold secure in God's promises - we do not have to fear the flood.  As quickly as the raging waters come, they also flow away from us.

"the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away" ~ Psalm 124: 4-5

Not Just The Nuts

I couldn't believe it.

When that first itchy patch under my eye appeared Saturday night, I couldn't believe it.  I haven't eaten a peanut, or peanut butter, or anything with peanut oil.  Yet, there it was.  That red spot that announces the coming of a reaction to something.

This couldn't be happening, I thought to myself as I slathered Cetaphil lotion on it.  At that point I could only pray that this was one of the times it remained the one little red spot before fading quickly away. 

Later that night, all hopes were dashed.  The other eye began to itch.  The eye lids began to itch.  My neck started to itch.   By Sunday morning, I was scrambling for the Benedryl before I ripped the skin off my facial structure.

Sunday was a day of antihistamines, ibuprofen, and a mixture of various lotions and creams.  I was in a well-medicated haze.  Pretty much useless. 

Fortunately, this morning the situation seems to have improved some. 

I'm still a little dry, with various itching at times.  And still a little puffy around the eyes.  But at least the redness has faded, and the itching is bearable.

But this still leaves the question - what caused the outbreak this time?  What other thing am I apparently so allergic to that it completely alters my appearance?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Controlling Fear

The words stared up at me from the page.  "In those early years, I was afraid of so many things that I tried to control everything" (Lisa Burke)  The sentence rang suspiciously true in my own life, and set my mind spinning.  Is the need to control things, to be in control - a symptom of fear? 

The answer that came back to me was a resounding: Yes, it probably is.

As women we so often feel the need to control things.  To manage things.  To multi-task.  So many women are managing their family - with kids in umpteen different directions, their homes, a marriage or other relationship, work, etc, etc, etc.  Admit it, how many of you can say you have "control issues"?

And what is it we're afraid of?  What is going to happen if we let something so?  What is the worst that will Really happen if we just take a step back and let a few chips fall where they may? 

Are we afraid of appearing not good enough?  Of being perceived as a bad mother?  That our relationship will fail?  That we will be found lacking or a failure? 

Can we find the courage to relinquish control of a few of our fears?  To jump into the deep end.  Let go of the handlebars.  Take our hands off the wheel.   To "let go and let God". 

I doubt the consequences would be as devastating as many of us imagine.  In fact, we might find a sense of freedom, especially from those fears that have control of us. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summertime, and The Livin' Is Easy

It seems like the rest of the country is being ravaged by extreme heat, wildfires, extreme storms, and torrential rain - which almost makes this feel like bragging.  As if I am pouring salt into their meteorological wounds.  But I have to say it anyway:  the weather here has been absolutely gorgeous the past few days.  Bright, sunny, a few afternoon showers, and temperatures in the 70's.

See?  Blue skies.  Puffy white clouds

Awesome day!  I couldn't wait to get my clothes out on the line for some fresh air.  And my new chair canvases came from World Market, so I am more than ready for a little reading on the porch time!


Anyone else see the Loch Ness Monster cloud?  Anyone?

I am so excited for summer to be here!  The Little Man's last day of school is tomorrow.  And I get a visit with my sister, nieces, and mother next week.

It's going to be a good summer!  I can already tell. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Graduation Goofs

'Tis the season for high school graduations.  The time when parents everywhere can finally sit back and heave a deep sigh of relief that the offspring has made it at least this far in the educational process.  A time of joy.  A time of pride.  A time to celebrate.

Wait...  not so fast!

In some areas it has apparently become not only frowned upon to cheer loudly and proudly for Junior or Junior-ette at graduation - it is an actual crime! 

In Florence, South Carolina, mother Shannon Cooper was arrested for disorderly conduct because she cheered at her daughter's graduation ceremony.  Parents had been warned by school officials that they would be thrown out of the ceremony being held at Florence Civic Center  if they cheered for the graduates.  Cooper did it anyway.  In a news interview she stated, "I got up and I said 'yay my baby made it! Yes!' Just a regular cheer."

Police didn't see it that way. Cooper was put in handcuffs and led outside to a waiting police van. She says she was then kept in jail for several hours until she could pay the $225 fine. 

In Ohio, it's not the parents that pay for being over-enthusiastic but the high school graduate himself.  Thanks to his family's exuberance, Anthony Cornist did not receive his diploma upon graduating from Mt. Healthy Senior High School.  Instead he received a letter from the principal stating that due to the "excessive cheering during the ceremony" they would require 20 hours of community service (to be completed by Anthony, or to be split between Anthony and the offending family members) before he could receive his diploma.

Really?  Is this what it's come to?  Parents are no longer allowed to cheer and celebrate as their offspring finally cross that stage.  They can be arrested, or sentenced to community service for letting the world know how excited they are to see this day finally come.  Anyone who has raised a child knows how much joy and pride wells up inside you as that child finally passes that milestone of life called High School Graduation.  It's a shame that schools feel obliged to punish them, or the student, for demonstrating those feelings. 

Sure, sometimes it's a little over the top.  It can be loud.  It can be raucous.  But if after 17 or 18 years of sleepless nights, worry, and who knows how many dollars - can't a parent can't embarrass their child a little bit?  I think it's an earned right!

Despite what this blogger views as over reactions by school officials to some well intentioned, joyous displays of pride and excitement, perhaps those parents and students are still the fortunate ones. At least those parents were able to hear their son or daughter's name called, and see them walk across the stage.  In Haywood County, North Carolina, some parents didn't get that experience. 

When a joint graduation for Haywood Central High and the Alternative Learning Center was held at the Canton Colonial Theater, too many people showed up.  Because of fire code regulations, several parents were forced to leave the theatre, and miss the graduation ceremony of their children.  Of course, school officials had a quick fix.  They will provide DVDs of the ceremony to all parents.  Because that will make up for missing the opportunity to see their child's graduation first hand.  A DVD is just as good as being there, right? 

So, the next time you attend a graduation (if you are lucky enough to get inside and be given a seat) - remember to sit quietly, with  your hands in your lap.  And maybe, just maybe, the school will allow a nice polite golf clap at the end of the ceremony.

Otherwise, you might be facing some jail time, or the very least community service.

Sources:
http://www.wistv.com/story/18718070/sc-mom-arrested-for-cheering-too-loudly-at-graduation
http://www.ktvz.com/news/31162940/detail.html
http://www.wcpo.com/dpp/news/local_news/popular-senior-denied-diploma-because-of-too-much-cheering
http://www.wcpo.com/dpp/news/local_news/mt-healthy-schools-students-family-should-do-the-right-thing
http://www.wlos.com/shared/newsroom/top_stories/videos/wlos_vid_7568.shtml

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Today Is Tuesday

Tuesday night.  Just about bed time for me.  And I have been looking at this stupid empty blank box for a good part of the day.  Trying to find inspiration for something to put into it.  Something interesting.  Something funny.  Something informative.  Something entertaining.  Just... something.

I found nothing.

Not one spark of creativity.  A big chunk of writer's block.  Not a single, teeny tiny thing to fill the space.

Maybe tomorrow...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mama Is Not A Llama, Or A Pack Mule!

Yesterday I talked about the large size of my purse, and the insane amount of items I tote around with me on any given day.  What I failed to mention is that things have improved in that area over the years.  As the age of my children increased, there was a directly related decrease to the amount of  cargo I haul around in my handbag.

Let's take a stroll down memory lane to when the offspring were much smaller...

Their little lives start and Mommy is required to get a diaper bag for all baby's paraphernalia.  How can one itty-bitty little being require so much STUFF?  Just for a trip outside the house?  What no one told me before becoming a parent is that baby's apparently need to take everything they own with them in a bag everytime they leave the nest.  (Maybe that's where it starts - maybe some of us never outgrow that phenomenon.)

As the offspring grew out of toddler hood and into the preschool years, they slowly got to the point where I needed to carry less things.  Potty training meant the end of packing diapers, wipes, a changing pad, and baggies for soiled diapers.  Teeth came in and I no longer needed the variety of teether rings.  Children became more mobile and could run around to play, so I didn't need a collection of toys and those little linky rings to keep them attached.  One day I finally found that I was able to put away the diaper bag and just bring my purse for shopping trips, trips to the park, etc. 

However, there are still items one needs to have handy as a parent.  And where do those things now go?  Right into mommy's purse, of course!  Among the wallet, phone, keys, lip glosses, and other grown up items - there are pocket packs of handi-wipes, a baggie or two of cheerios or goldfish crackers, maybe a few random cartoon character band-aids, a juice box or child sized water bottle, and anything else I had "just in case". 

Tossed in with the "needed" items were a dizzying collection of matchbox cars, polly pockets, beanie babies, and Happy Meal toys that the little one HAD to bring along, but soon got tired of carrying and handed over to me - Mama the pack mule - to go into the purse. 

The good news is that they get even bigger, they start carrying all their own things.  Maybe they get their own purse, or a backpack.  Or cargo pockets to tuck things away inside.  One day, you realize that everything in your purse actually belongs to YOU!

The bad news is that at point you can no longer blame the ginormous size or medicine ball weight of your purse on your offspring.  It's all you now.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

It's In The Bag

After reading the blog post "Ladies, What do you have in your purse?" at Journey of Life a couple of months ago, I can't seem to stop thinking about purses.  (Although I've never really been able to stop thinking about purses.  I'm a little obsessed.)  But more recently it's been about what's in my purse, what other women keep in their purses, and the size of the purses.

I've always been a big purse gal.  Back in high school I often heard the question "is that a purse or an overnight bag? (suitcase, luggage, etc)"  It was kind of my thing.  Big purses and big earrings.  That was my personal fashion statement. 

Now I see women toting around those cute little purses which are hardly any bigger than my wallet; and I envy them.  How do they get everything they need into that adorable little pocket?  And what am I hauling around that they don't seem to need?  I would love to have a tiny little handbag.  I gaze longingly at them in the store, consider giving one a go.  Then I remember the contents of my own bag.

Right now in my purse I have:
* wallet
* cell phone
* personal organizer
* pencil pouch (for my assortment of pens.  I'm also a little obsessed with pens)
* 2 pairs of sunglasses
* make up pouch (with powder compact, mirror, lip balm, nail file, and a few lip glosses)
* travel size hand sanitizer
* purse pack of tissues
* hand lotion
* asthma inhaler
* tic tacs
* multi-tool (one never knows when she might need a pocket knife, pliers, can opener, screwdriver, scissors, or cork screw)
* a Nutri-grain bar
* various assorted shopping lists, receipts, and empty wrappers (those will be gone now, since this inventory has inspired a cleaning out of the purse)

Good grief!!  No wonder my back hurts so often!  Try as I might, I can't seem to whittle it down much more than that.  I absolutely need the wallet, cell phone, and inhaler.  But things get a little more complicated when I start looking at the rest of the collection.

I happen to strongly hold to the idea that I need my makeup pouch  (at least the lip balm and powder) and tic tacs.  Those are non-negotiable in my opinion. 

I know... I should be using my phone as an organizer.  And maybe one day I'll get the hang of that and be able to ditch the personal organizer.

And I probably don't need all those pens, or the pouch to hold them.  But that's going to take addressing a whole 'nother personal issue before that happens.  (Did I mention I'm a little obsessed with pens?)

Two pairs of sunglasses you ask?  Why yes.  Because I am sure as the world going to wear one pair into the house, take them off and set them on the kitchen counter or the dresser, forget they are there, leave the house again at some point forgetting they are not in my purse, and need a pair of sunglasses.  This happens often enough that I firmly believe the two pair strategy is best.

As for all the other paraphernalia - I may suffer from "but if I don't have it, I'm going to need it" syndrome.  But I just know, the day I stop carrying around a multi-tool, or a pack of tissue, or hand sanitizer - the very next day I am going to have a screwdriver emergency, a sneezing fit, or well, a sneezing fit.  No one wants that to happen.

What's in your bag right now?  What do you have to carry in your purse?  and what could you probably get by without having?  Do you carry a big purse, or are you able to carry one of those cute little handbags?



Saturday, June 2, 2012

One Book At A Time

The Man of the House is completely befuddled.  He can not seem to understand why someone would read more than one book at a time.  While to me, it seems perfectly logical. 

I think perhaps it started back in school.  There would be one book that I had to read for English class.  And one I wanted to read.  So, I would simply read both books, alternating back and forth between one and the other. 

Now, I will admit that I haven't done this sort of reading in a while.  I usually stick to one book at a time these days.  Until very recently.  The Endless To-Be-Read Pile has grown to a dizzying height, at times teasing the 100 books mark.  And I made the mistake of putting several books on request at the library thinking it would take quite a while before most of them came available.  Which it did not.  Leading to having several books sitting on the nightstand which will be due in 2 to 3 weeks. 

All this caused me to take up the multiple book reading habit again.  And confused the poor Man of the House to no end.  He insists that the only logical way to handle it is to read one - complete it - and then start the next.  It's not as if reading them both at the same time will help me finish either or both any quicker, so why bother?  It just doesn't make sense to him.

Unfortunately, it's not something I can really explain in a way that will sound logical to anyone else.  It does make sense in my own mind.  It's just something I want to do.  Even if it seems odd to someone else.

Do you ever read more than one book at a time?  Or do you always finish one before starting the next?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Musical Interlude

There is something very joyful about sitting in a tiny, uncomfortable school auditorium and watching young people learning to play and developing an appreciation for music. 

I am not personally musically inclined.  I don't play any instrument.  I can't carry a tune in a bucket.  That's not to say that I don't enjoy music.  I do.  A lot.  I enjoy listening to music.  I also enjoy singing along.  Often.  Loud.  And badly.  Which is why I find it fascinating to hear my own children play their respective musical instruments. 

Last night was the Little Man's last orchestra concert as a middle schooler. And his first with the high school orchestra.


First the 8th Grade Orchestra played a couple of pieces.


Variations on a well-known Sea Chantey - Stephan

Then after the high school orchestra played a couple of songs, the 8th grade joined them for their first concert pieces with the high school orchestra!

Ancient Ritual - DelBorgo
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